Alexis Plunkett, the jailed Las Vegas defense lawyer enmeshed in a pair of felony cases, will remain behind bars while awaiting trial, a judge decided Thursday.
District Judge Michael Villani cited a pair of recently uncovered text messages from Plunkett, 38, detailing to friends how she arranged to have her former boyfriend killed in prison.
“Professionals don’t vent this way,” the judge said before revoking Plunkett’s bail. “Adults don’t vent this way, unless they’re going to do something.”
In one message, Plunkett wrote that she knew “a slew of people at HDSP (High Desert State Prison) pissed as hell at him and I’ve asked for PC (protective custody) level beat down or death. They’re lifers. I was like, what do you want? A TV? Money on your books? Legal work? I got YOU forever if you get HIM. I’m ruthless.”
In another, she wrote: “I’m not joking and I don’t care who knows because NO ONE could link me to an inmate attack.”
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jay Raman argued that the text messages showed the sincerity of her intention to have 28-year-old Andrew Arevalo killed.
“We believe she could not be more explicit about her intentions,” the prosecutor said.
Plunkett’s lawyer, Adam Solinger, argued that she was “just venting” with fellow attorneys in the September messages, saying that Arevalo had physically abused her and threatened her life.
“Ms. Plunkett knew who she was talking to,” Solinger said. “She knew what their ethical obligations were, and she knew they would not take her seriously.”
Plunkett has been held in the Clark County Detention Center for since last week, and she’s expected to remain there until at least April, when she is set for a trial on charges of allowing clients to use cellphones in jail.
She walked into Villani’s courtroom Thursday shackled and wearing jail blues, her hair in a ponytail. She smirked, smiled and wiped tears from her eyes during the hourlong hearing.
Plunkett is due back in court Friday on witness intimidation charges. Her attorneys indicated they plan to ask another judge to throw out that case.